Thanks to the magic of spreadsheets, I can reliably tell you that of 400 poetry submissions I've sent, 57 were published, and of 346 entries to poetry competitions, 17 were placed. It's a slog, and these figures are comparatively good, I'm told. *sigh*
I've just had a poem published in this year's Ragged Raven Anthology: Nothing Left to Burn - the fourth time I've been selected for one their excellent collections. I was especially chuffed that they even named last year's anthology after my poem - which was runner up in their competition: The world is made of glass.
The world is made of glass
each blade of grass
hand-blown and fragile,
as bright as needles.
You order coffee here and stare
into something solid and opaque –
one sugar cube suspended
perfectly. See the craftsman’s skill:
nothing solid exactly, but moving
with the patience of glaciers.
All things, even your lover’s face,
reflect an image of yourself, slightly distorted.
The touch of skin’s as sharp
as those mornings when buildings
look like clouds and birds fly into them,
shatter their skulls and drop like stones.
Rain falls in slivers, lies
like mirrors at your feet. You feel
your way – afraid of fractures,
everything splintering. Beneath
leaded sheets your brittle sweat
rolls and dances like beads
from a broken string, night hardens you
into a sculpture, your arteries a marbling
only visible in certain lights.
© Clare Kirwan
p.s. did you notice I wrote an entire poem about glass without once using the overly-poetic word 'shards'? My A problem shard post explains why.